What Are Ringspun Cotton Towels?

Cotton towels are made with different methods.

Cotton Spinning

Group of cotton towelsGroup of cotton towels
Ringspun cotton is a specific type that is spun and woven to produce a softer feel when made into towels. This kind of towel is also durable and comes in a variety of colors to match your décor.

Raw cotton must be processed in order to be used as a fabric for clothing, home linens and towels. The spinning process draws and twists fibers together to produce thread or yarn. Longer fiber length is desirable for this process. Spun fibers are more compacted which contributes to their durability over time.

Cotton Production

Cotton thread is processed on large looms in textile factories to produce the fabric to be made into various products, including towels. Cotton used to make towels comes with both longer and shorter fibers which are made into a variety of textures. Ringspun cotton is made with a particular spinning process which results in a softer cotton fiber which can then be made into sheets, clothing and towels.

History of Spun Cotton

19th century spinning wheel

Spun cotton fibers have a long history preceding modern mass production methods, since they make the fabric softer and more durable. Originally made by hand, the early 19th century saw the introduction of mass-produced ringspun cotton thread. Spinning frames run by foot pedals were the first type, followed by frames run with steam power and finally with electric power.

Towel Types

Some cotton is considered more luxurious, and thus more expensive, like those that come from Egypt and Turkey and pima cotton produced in the U.S. Each of these has a longer fiber. Towels can be made with combed fibers, ringspun fibers and twisted fibers. Each has a different feel. Towels made with twisted fibers tend to feel plusher. Ringspun cotton uses a combination of long and short yarn twisted together tightly, which creates a stronger and smoother yarn.

Care of Ringspun Towels

Ringspun cotton towels are highly durable and can withstand repeated washing and drying. They take color well, and will not fade over time. Manufacturers advise against the use of fabric softeners with these towels since they contain silicon, which can make the towels water resistant. Also manufacturers suggest drying the towels on a low heat or using the air setting to make them come out feeling fluffier.

About the Author

Wanda Bershen has been writing for over 20 years on Fundraising, Marketing and Planning for arts organizations, including newsletters, proposals & planning documents, and articles for leading art and film publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Philosophy from Yale University.